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South Africa’s ruling ANC confirms discussing Zuma exit

(FILES) This file photo taken on December 17, 2017 shows South African and then African National Congress President Jacob Zuma looking on during a plenary meeting during the 54th ANC national congress in Johannesburg. South Africa’s ruling ANC party confirmed on January 22, 2018 that discussions were underway on President Jacob Zuma leaving office, but said no date for his departure had yet been agreed. / AFP PHOTO / GULSHAN KHAN

South Africa’s ruling ANC party confirmed Monday that discussions were underway on President Jacob Zuma leaving office, but said no date for his departure had yet been agreed.

Zuma has been under growing pressure to resign since he was replaced as head of the African National Congress in December by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.

The party executive “discussed this matter… there will be interaction between officials, President Zuma and (party) president Ramaphosa,” party secretary-general Ace Magashule told reporters.

“There isn’t any decision taken to remove Jacob Zuma,” he said.

“There are no timelines… we don’t do things that way, we engage, we discuss. We haven’t reached a decision that President Zuma must go or President Zuma must stay.”

Zuma’s presidency has been mired in corruption scandals and tarnished by a weakening economy, with the party losing public support ahead of next year’s general election.

Ramaphosa’s supporters are keen for him to take over as president immediately and try to revive the economy before the election, when the ANC could lose its dominance for the first time since the end of apartheid in 1994.

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